Monday, December 31, 2012

CFP: Historical Perspectives in Organization Studies

Now entering its third year, the "Historical Perspectives in Organization Studies" working group of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) seeks to foster interdisciplinary discussions and collaborations between historians and management and organization scholars. The working group will meet during the EGOS conference in Montreal, Canada, from July 4-6, 2013. The theme for the year is "The Handling of History: Methods and Theories." The sub-group, convened by Daniel Wadhwani, Lars Engwall, and Michael Rowlinson, "aims to explore and expand the potential that a historical perspective—understood in the broadest possible sense—might have" for the ways in which organizations are studied. Submissions related to the intersection of history and organization theory are welcome. The deadline for submission of short papers (3,000 words) is January 14, 2013.
    For more information please visit the conference site and see the working group's complete call for papers.

Friday, December 28, 2012

HBS Posts Report and Syllabi from “Teaching Business History” Conference

Last June the Business History Initiative at the Harvard Business School sponsored a one-day conference on "Teaching Business History: Insights and Debates." The organizers have now posted both a conference report (which contains an overview, papers delivered, and country reports) and a compilation of about 200 syllabi, "Guide to Business History Courses Worldwide." Both e-publications were edited by Geoffrey Jones and Walter Friedman and prepared for publication by Felice Whittum; the syllabi were collected by Shaun Nichols.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 20 Industrial and Corporate Change Articles Available

In recognition of the journal's first twenty years of publication, the editors of Industrial and Corporate Change have selected their top twenty articles, all of which Oxford University Press is now making freely available online. Selections of particular interest to business historians include Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., “Corporate Strategy, Structure and Control Methods in the United States during the 20th Century”; Oliver E. Williamson, “Hierarchies, Markets and Power in the Economy: An Economic Perspective”; and Sidney G. Winter, “Toward a Neo-Schumpeterian Theory of the Firm.”

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas in (Business) History

We provide today a series of links to sites offering information and reflections on the history of the Christmas holiday, many with business history relevance.
For a large list, see the History News Network's "Hot Topics" list for Christmas, which includes

a 2011 Backstory audiocast featuring historian Stephen Nissenbaum, author of The Battle for Christmas
Gregory McNamee on "Christmas, Cash, and Commodities"
James Sturcke on "The Commercial Roots of Christmas"
Other sites :
The Mahoning Valley Historical Society, which provides short articles on belsnickles, "putz" houses (Christmas villages), and the Shiny Brite ornament company
The company that printed Christmas Seals
Albert Sadacca, Thomas Edison, and the invention of Christmas lights
The Coca-Cola company and its sponsorship of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
WSJ review of Inventing the Christmas Tree
The history of the Christmas "cracker"
Louis Prang and the American Christmas card, New-York Historical Society
American History through Christmas Cards, Wisconsin Historical Society
Henry Cole and the First Christmas Cards; that first card is here (and above)
History of the National Christmas Tree (Washington, DC)
The FBI on "It's a Wonderful Life" : "a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers"
Montgomery Ward invents Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer)
Alfred Loman, Macy's Parade, and Santa's Reindeer
Mark Carr and (possibly) the first retail Christmas tree lot
Thomas Nast, Morristown, NJ, and Santa Claus
Germany exports Christmas Markets
Charles Dickens, the man who invented Christmas--or not?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Business History at the OAH, 2013

The Organization of American Historians (OAH), which will hold its 2013 annual meeting in San Francisco, California, on April 11-14, has now released its program. Two sessions are of particular interest:
Friday, 1:45 p.m.: "The 1%?: Business Classes and the Transformation of American Capitalism"
Sponsored by the Business History Conference’s Liaison Committee
"Global Networks, Metropolitan Terrains: Finance Capital and Urban Populism in the Era of Reconstruction"
Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University
"A Grasstops Revolution: Local Business Elites, National Executives, and the Geography of Twentieth-Century Capitalism"
Elizabeth Shermer, Loyola University of Chicago
"Corporate Power and the Problem of Politics: Business Elites, Social Policy, and Urban 'Democracy' in the Early Twentieth Century"
Daniel Amsterdam, The Ohio State University
Friday, 3:30 p.m.: Plenary Session: "Corporations in American Life"
Chair: Naomi Lamoreaux, Yale University
Richard White, Stanford University
Bethany Moreton, University of Georgia
Karen Ho, University of Minnesota
Peter James Hudson, Vanderbilt University
Other complete sessions of interest include:
Friday, 10:30 a.m.: "The Globalization of African-American Consumer Culture, 1800-Present"
Saturday, 8:30 a.m.: "The Transformation of the American Political Economy during the 1970s"
Saturday, 10:30 a.m.: "Purchasing Power Politics and Consumer Activism in North America
from the Depression to the Cold War"
Saturday, 10:30 a.m.: "The Business of War: Production, Consumption, and Destruction, 1860–2013"

   In addition, individual participants with ties to business history include Richard John (Thursday, "Connections and Constraints: Technology and Sociability"); Walter Licht (Friday, "Managing Knowledge, Managing People, Managing Health"); and Susan Strasser (Sunday, "When the World of Goods Goes Bad: Drugs as Intolerable Commodities").

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Podcast: Al Churella on the Penn RR at Hagley

"The Unique Railroad of the World: Why the Pennsylvania Railroad Was Different from All of the Others” is the title of the lecture delivered by Albert Churella on November 15, 2012, at the Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware. It is now available on the Hagley website as an audio podcast.
    The lecture marked publication of Churella’s book, The Pennsylvania Railroad, Volume 1: Building an Empire, 1846-1917 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). Churella, who teaches at Southern Polytechnic State University, is working on the second volume of his history of the PRR.

Monday, December 17, 2012

CFP: Oral History Society, UK

The theme of the Oral History Society's next annual meeting should be of particular interest to business historians; it is "Corporate Voices: Institutional and Organisational Oral Histories." The meeting will take place July 5-6, 2013, at the University of Sussex. According to the call for papers, the conference will "explore the hidden histories of private companies and business, public institutions, hospitals, universities, museums, public utilities, local and national governmental, campaigning bodies and charities," and "bring into dialogue historians of business, education and health with oral historians who have been commissioned to work with and within institutions to create and document their oral history." For a fuller list of topics and concerns, please see the complete call for papers.
    Each proposal should include: a title, an abstract of between 250-300 words, submitter's name (and the names of any co-presenters or panelists), institution or organization, email address, and a note of any particular requirements. The abstract should demonstrate the use of oral history or personal testimony and be directly related to the history or development of aspects of organizational or corporate history. Proposals should be emailed to the Corporate Voices Conference Administrator, Belinda Waterman, at The deadline for submission of proposals is January 7, 2013.

Friday, December 14, 2012

EABH Young Scholar Workshop: CFP

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) e.V. invites the submission of paper proposals on the topic "Foreign Financial Institutions and National Financial Systems," its 2013 Young Scholar Workshop, to be held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on March 3, 2013. The call for papers states:
Many of today’s banks trace their origins to the long nineteenth century’s processes of globalisation, nationalism and colonial expansion. To facilitate transfers, in search of profits or to finance overseas trade many banks crossed borders by hiring correspondents or opening branches, and acting as foreign institutions’ representative agents at home. Banks’ foreign experiences varied. They were often welcomed as important innovators and the financiers of progress, but frequently suspected of serving the interests of foreign governments, too. At times of war they faced control and expropriation. This year’s Young Scholar Workshop will explore the history of foreign financial institutions and their relations to host economies and their governments as well as to institutions in the home countries.
Proposals should be forwarded to by January 1, 2013. Please include: the author(s)'s name and affiliation(s), an abstract of up to 500 words, and a short CV for the presenting author.  Comparative approaches are encouraged and co-authored papers are welcome. EABH will cover travel expenses and a two-night stay in Jerusalem. Outstanding papers on the main theme will be proposed for presentation at the EABH Annual Conference, to be held in Warsaw in June 2013.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Teaching Tools: Audio Resources On-Line

Those looking for historical audio files for classroom use or personal research will find a wide variety of sources on the Web, several of them with a specific focus on business and economic history topics. The following links provide just a sampling and are heavily weighted toward American sources:
Historical Voices (Michigan State University, Matrix), including the sub-galleries:
   American Voices (including the Flint Sit-Down Strike Audio Gallery)
   Earliest Voices
(In addition, the large holdings of the Vincent Voice Library at MSU are catalogued and searchable on-line, though not all are available for download and listening.)
The Library of Congress has several sites devoted to preserving American history via sound; see especially:
    Voices from the Dust Bowl
    Edison Sound Recordings
    Voices from the Days of Slavery
    American Leaders Speak
    Working in Paterson
Free Information Society (mp3 recordings of speakers ranging from Joseph Goebbels to Mahatma Gandhi)
Famous Speeches in History (The History Channel)
American Rhetoric (speeches)
SignalAlpha: Historical Audio and Video (has sections on old-time radio programs and advertising, World War II)
Documenting the American South, Southern Oral History Project
U.S. Labor and Industrial History Audio Archives (University of Albany)
British Library Sounds, Oral History segment
Radio Days (primarily programs, but advertising is also heard)

For historical music recordings, see the Library of Congress's National Jukebox.

In addition to historical recordings, several sites offer audio of discussions of historical topics. See, for example, "Talking History" and "Backstory with the American History Guys."

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 2012 Enterprise & Society Available

The December 2012 issue of Enterprise & Society is now available on-line. The issue contains Margaret Levenstein's presidential address, "Escape from Equilibrium: Thinking Historically about Firm Responses to Competition," and four dissertation summaries, as well as three regular articles and numerous book reviews. Contents include:

Dissertation Summaries
Christy Ford Chapin, "Ensuring America’s Health: Publicly Constructing the Private Health Insurance Industry, 1945–1970"
Xaq Frolich, "Accounting for Taste: Regulating Food Labeling in the 'Affluent Society,' 1945–1995"
Noam Maggor, "Politics of Property: Urban Democracy in the Age of Global Capital, Boston 1865–1900"
Alexia Yates, "Selling Paris: The Real Estate Market and Commercial Culture in the Fin-de-siècle Capital"

Wendy A. Woloson, "Wishful Thinking: Retail Premiums in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America"
Tore C. Olsson, "Peeling Back the Layers: Vidalia Onions and the Making of a Global Agribusiness"
Rachel Maines, "The Asbestos Litigation Master Narrative: Building Codes, Engineering Standards, and 'Retroactive Inculpation' "

    Full access requires a subscription (included with BHC membership), but abstracts are accessible by all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

CFP: British Academy of Management, 2013

The 2013 British Academy of Management (BAM) conference will be held by the University of Liverpool at Aintree Racecourse on September 10-12, 2013.  Organizers are seeking submissions for the
Management and Business History Track, which is chaired by Kevin Tennent. This track "aims to encourage the growing number of management and business historians who work in business schools and social science departments to engage in constructive debate with other social scientists." In relation to the 2013 conference theme, "Managing to Make a Difference," attention is drawn to the historical impact of management practice within society. Papers on the relationship between management and the community, whether from the perspective of community perceptions of business, or with an interest in how business has shaped a particular community over time, are especially welcome, as are those dealing with the legacy of the past, and how it has shaped present-day businesses and communities. Please see the full call for papers for a more detailed description.
    Submissions will be open on January 15 and close on February 26, 2013. Proposals for full papers (6,000-8,000 words), developmental papers (1,000-2,000 words), and Workshop events are all welcome.
    Ph.D. students are encouraged to apply for the Doctoral Symposium event, which will take place on September 9. The first 100 doctoral students to register for this event receive free registration for the conference. More details about the meeting, including submission instructions, will be posted on the BAM Conference website as they become available.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CFP: History of European Stock Exchanges, 2013

The fifth edition of the Eurhistock Workshop (History of European Stock Exchanges) will meet on May 23-24, 2013, in Antwerp, Belgium. The workshop aims at providing a meeting point for financial and economic historians as well as financial economists interested in the long-term changes in European financial markets. Papers for presentation from all fields of financial history and finance are welcome as long as there is a financial and historical perspective. Work in progress will be considered, and both junior and senior researchers are invited to attend. Professor William N. Goetzmann (Yale School of Management) will present the keynote speech.
    Full papers written in English should be sent (as a pdf) by email to no later than March 15, 2013. The email should contain an abstract of the paper, not exceeding 300 words, and contact information (name, affiliation, email) for all authors. Authors of papers accepted for presentation will be notified by the end of March. Registration details and other information will be posted on the Eurhistock 2013 website as it becomes available.
    Programs for previous meetings of the Workshop may be found here: 2012 (Bonn); 2011 (Paris); 2010 (Cambridge); and  2009 (Madrid).

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Teaching the History of Capitalism"

In November 2011, the Program on the Study of Capitalism at Harvard University, chaired by Sven Beckert and Christine Desan, hosted a conference on "Teaching the History of Capitalism." A group of scholars in the field convened at the university to reflect on how the history of capitalism might enhance the college curriculum. Conference co-organizers Sven Beckert and Noam Maggor have now posted a report on the conference, as well as links to a number of syllabi collected in response to the meeting.

Tip of the hat to the Culture of the Market Network.